AMA-SX: Stewart wins Anaheim II

Reed takes series lead

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 19, 2009
James Stewart captured his second AMA Supercross win but it’s his rival Chad Reed that leaped to the top of the standings.

Racing in front of 43,000 fans, Stewart won the second of three AMA Supercross events at Anaheim, Calif.’s Angel Stadium. The win made up for the season opening Anaheim race on Jan. 3 where Stewart was forced to retire after first colliding with Reed and, after attempting to remount, with Geico Powersports’ Kevin Windham.

Though Stewart’s result was better, the second Anaheim race wasn’t easy. Stewart had another collision in a practice session before the second Anaheim race, cutting his hand after hitting Travis Preston. Fifth after the opening lap, Stewart didn’t gain the lead until halfway through the 20-lap race when he overtook Windham.

“It was a tough weekend for me as far as getting adjusted to the track,” says Stewart. “Also, physically, it was definitely tough for me. But if we can get wins like this, I can’t imagine what it will be like when things go smoothly; maybe we can do even better.”

James Stewart has two wins in three races but still sits fourth in the standings.Reed, the reigning AMA Superscross champion, also had a slow start. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider started at the front of the grid but fell back to 20th after a crash on the first corner. Despite the setback, Reed worked his way back up the ranks before reaching second place on lap 18, dropping Windham to third.

“The first and second practices went well, and in the heat race, I realized it would be important to get a good start. In the main event, I got down there in the top four but came together with another rider and went down,” says Reed. “I thought it was going to be a real tough race – maybe I’d get a top five or something – so to get up on the podium, second especially, is awesome.”

The second-place finish was Reed’s third podium appearance, giving him the series lead with 64 points. A fifth-place finish for Joe Gibbs Racing’s Josh Grant dropped the rookie to second with 61 points. Despite the two wins, Stewart’s 52 points is only good enough for fourth, a point behind Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short.

In the Supercross Lites class, Ryan Dungey earned his second straight win for Rockstar Makita Suzuki to increase his lead in the West Coast Championship standings.

“Lining up for the Main, I felt like the night was our night again: I had to take control and do what I knew how, but at the same time, I knew a holeshot was going to be key because it was tough to pass out there,” says Dungey. “But I was able to put myself in a good position, ride out my laps and be smart and be smooth.”

The Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Ryan Morais, followed by Jake Weimer, completed the podium.

The 2009 AMA Supercross season continues Jan. 24 in Houston, Texas at Reliant Stadium.